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An intuitive approach to structuring the three polarization components of light

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posted on 2023-11-30, 06:23 authored by F. Maucher, S. Skupin, S. A. Gardiner, I. G. Hughes
This paper presents intuitive interpretations of tightly focused beams of light by drawing analogies to two-dimensional electrostatics, magnetostatics and fluid dynamics. We use a Helmholtz decomposition of the transverse polarization components in the transverse plane to introduce generalized radial and azimuthal polarization states. This reveals the interplay between transverse and longitudinal polarization components in a transparent fashion. Our approach yields a comprehensive understanding of tightly focused laser beams, which we illustrate through several insightful examples.

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